Santa Monica, California

The best Trails and Outdoor Activities in Santa Monica, California offer a variety of top outdoor adventures. The Temescal Canyon Loop is a must-visit with its 2.6-mile trail that offers stunning ocean views and a scenic waterfall. For a more challenging hike, the Los Liones Trail is a 7.3-mile trail that takes you through lush greenery and offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The Santa Monica Beach bike path is a 22-mile long flat trail perfect for cycling, running, and walking. If you're into bird watching, the Ballona Wetlands is a great spot. For rock climbing, head to Point Dume in nearby Malibu. Remember to respect the outdoors and leave no trace behind. Enjoy your outdoor adventures in Santa Monica!

Top Spots in and near Santa Monica

  • Topanga, California

    Top of Topanga Overlook

    1 mi / 1613 ft gain
    The Top of Topanga Overlook is where you can simply park your car, and sit in one of the benches to view the San Fernando Valley. But there is one hiking trail in that area which lets you get better vantage points, as well as a quick workout. Once you get to the overlook, park your car and safel...
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  • Malibu, California

    Surf Malibu Point

    3.0
    Malibu point is an iconic surf spot located in Malibu, California. It's a very popular summer time spot due to the exposure to south swells.  The majority of people longboard this surf spot.  It's a very iconic wave with lots of history!  The wave itself is a long right-hand point break that is r...
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  • Malibu, California

    Photograph the Iconic Malibu Pier

    3.2
    Less than a mile South from the small town center, Malibu Pier stretches out into the Pacific. The Pier has been in Malibu since 1905 and though much of Malibu has been built up around it, it has remained quite similar to when it was first constructed. You can either pay for parking right at the ...
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  • Topanga, California

    Calabasas Peak Motorway

    7.23 mi / 1565 ft gain
    Getting There You can, from Los Angeles, go one of three ways: take I-405 to US-101 and head west, or from downtown, take US-101 the whole way, OR, get on I-10 from the Westside or east of there and take that until it becomes PCH, then take that to Topanga Canyon (turn left onto Old Topanga Cany...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Franklin-Ivar Park

    5.0
    What was once a vacant and deteriorated site, Franklin-Ivar Park was rehabilitated and turned into a small neighborhood park in a densely-populated area in Hollywood. More like a parklette, Franklin-Ivar Park returns some of the native habitats that once thrived in this area on the slopes of the...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Sepulveda Basin: Upstream Of Balboa

    4.0
    3.7 mi / 75 ft gain
    Sepulveda Basin: Upstream Of Balboa is a loop trail that takes you by a river located near Encino, California.
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  • Malibu, California

    The Malibu Lagoon State Beach

    5.0
    2.11 mi / 98 ft gain
    The Malibu Lagoon State Beach is a loop trail that takes you past scenic surroundings located near Malibu, California.
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Lake Hollywood Trail

    4.7
    3.35 mi / 249 ft gain
    The Lake Hollywood Trail features beautiful wildflowers in the spring and is wheelchair accessible. A majority of the trail is paved, but approximately .6 miles is on dirt. Some of the trail is shaded, but bring sun protection regardless - especially in the summer. Dogs are not allowed on this tr...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Aileen Getty Ridge Trail

    5.0
    3.55 mi / 1194 ft gain
    The Aileen Getty Ridge Trail is a singletrack trail that runs between Mt. Lee and Burbank Peak (the location of the Wisdom Tree). Though there are many options to access this trail, the most direct route is from the west via the Wonder View Trailhead. Start by parking on Lake Hollywood Drive near...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Cahuenga Peak via Burbank Peak Trail

    2.23 mi / 719 ft gain
    Cahuenga Peak via Burbank Peak Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you past scenic surroundings located near Los Angeles, California.
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Cahuenga Peak Loop Trail

    3.88 mi / 1237 ft gain
    The Cahuenga Peak Loop is perfect for trail runners and hikers. The trailhead is in Hollywood Hills - park off to the side on a street. This trail features beautiful wildflowers in the spring. Dogs are allowed on the trail if kept on leash. The trail can be dusty and dirty, so watch your step. Ke...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Wisdom Tree

    4.8
    0.95 mi / 528 ft gain
    In Griffith Park, park along Lake Hollywood Drive and walk the paved quarter mile up Wonder View Drive to the start of Wonder View Trail. Here, walk through the yellow gate and make the first right after the road turns to dirt. Head up this unmarked single track path heading east up the mountain....
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Reseda Pond Path

    1.0
    0.3 mi / 0 ft gain
    Reseda Pond Path is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near Reseda, California
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Garden of Oz

    NOTE: This location is only open on Thursdays from 10am-12pm. Hours may vary depending on availablity (see below).   In 1991, Hollywood resident Gail Cottman purchased a small plot beneath her Hollywood Hills home, originally planning a rose garden. It expanded into a magical homage to "The Wiza...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Ferndell to the West Observatory Loop Trail to Griffith Observatory

    4.5
    2.63 mi / 587 ft gain
    The Ferndell to Griffith Observatory trail in Los Angeles, California is a moderate difficulty, 2.63-mile loop trail.  The trail starts at Ferndell Nature Museum, a small museum with a garden and picnic area. The trail then ascends through a shaded canyon, with a small stream running alongside. ...
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  • Hermosa Beach, California

    Surf at El Porto

    4.0
    The South Bay of LA has plenty of good surf. Sand bars are back and its fun...watch out for the sharks.
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